Tuesday, 30 July 2013

I.O.U. Nothing

Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.

      When I was a young man I had ten credit cards and, of course, I had ten invoices coming in the mail all the time. The reason was simple, I was only paying the minimum payment on some of the bills. I did not know the Lord personally in those days, but the Spiritual principles and laws of money, wealth, and commerce were at work whether I believed or not. I was guilty of breaking this law. Prov. 3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. 

      I was doing this very thing. I was using the money that belonged to my creditors in order to self-indulge, therefore, abusing my good name. I was paying less than the minimum payments because I was spending the rest on parties and that life style. There came the day when it all caught up with me and I had to get a bill payer loan. The bank manager cut up all ten credit cards and took care of all the phone calls to the charge card companies in order to pay the total balances owed. 
      It took me four and a half years at $302.00 a month to pay it all off. In the early 1970's that was a lot of money. During those five years, I used cash only and never again owed anyone an outstanding debt. If I could not pay cash for it, I would not buy it, no matter what "IT" was. Prov. 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. Thank God in the same summer of the final payment paid, I received Christ as my Lord and Savior.
      Under God's financial principles for living, I have learned how to manage my fiscal affairs. I am often stunned at the financial traps and schemes that Christian brothers find themselves caught up in and sometimes actually promoting. 
      A sister in the Lord that I was counseling for her debt problems had owed a Doctor $425.00 for over three years and had not made a payment during that time. She was constantly asking the Doctor for more time with his invoice and yet she was traveling to all types of Christian conferences. When we looked into all her debt, there were more creditors owed, and she was treating them in a similar fashion. I explained Prov. 3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. 
      The irony would have been funny, but this was pathetic. She was stealing the money owed the Doctor in order to enhance her Spiritual life in Christ by spending the owed money on Christian conferences. She was not choosing the advice of this bible verse. Prov. 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches. She could not understand why she found it so hard to hear God's direction in her life. Mark 4:25 For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath. 
      I explained that until she started to seriously deal with her creditors she would find it hard to move forward in the blessing of God's provision. It took a year and a half for her to pay off her outstanding debts, but finally came to a place where Rom. 13:8a Owe no man any thing, but to love one another. had become real to her. 
      A few years ago I had parked in front of a large drug store, and I noticed a sign in their window that said "SALE ON STUFF." I realized that we have become so conditioned to buying on impulse, that the sign said it all. Stuff and more stuff is what we, as a nation are going into extreme debt over. The hole in our hearts cannot be filled with stuff. It can only be filled with Christ Himself. Gal. 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.
      The principle of God's financial grace will come to you when you seek Him first. Matt. 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Yes, the proverb tells me to choose a good name and that I will do with the help of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

1 comment:

  1. We found it very clarifying to read many of the verses you quoted, in the context of your message. I think they are often misinterpreted and not understood. Thank you.